AUSTIN (KXAN) — You just went to the store and stocked your fridge for the week when the lights go out. Pride might get the best of you, and you try to convince yourself that the $30 salmon fillet you bought should keep, right?

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said a refrigerator will keep food safe for up to four hours during a power outage. After four hours, it’s advised to throw out perishable food, including meat, poultry, eggs and any leftovers.

The USDA said to keep thermometers both in freezers and refrigerators. Fridges should always stay below 40 degrees Fahrenheit while freezers should stay below 0 degrees.

Food in the freezer will stay safe longer than in the refrigerator. If the doors stay closed, the food will keep for up to 24 hours in a half-freezer. In a full freezer, food will stay safe for up to two days.

As extreme weather becomes more common from a changing climate, researchers report that power outages are also becoming more frequent. Research by Climate Central found that the average number of weather-related power outages increased by around 78% from 2000 to 2021. The study team found also that 83% of power outages in the U.S. were caused by weather-related events.

The USDA said if you think a power outage might come to your area, you could transfer food from the refrigerator into an ice-filled cooler. Or, if your power goes out for a while, you can obtain a dry ice block. Fifty pounds of dry ice should hold an 18-cubic-foot freezer for two days, the USDA said.

The Quarter Test

You may also employ the quarter test. This is where you keep a cup of frozen water with a quarter on top in your freezer. Once the power comes back on following a power outage, pull the cup out and look at the quarter. If the quarter is no longer at the top of the cup, you may want to consider throwing out the food.